Breaking news: CHINA PMI blew away consensus .. rose to 53.1 in March (big rally for gold & silver)
SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--The official gauge of manufacturing activity in China unexpectedly improved in March, likely soothing market concerns about a possible sharp slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The official Purchasing Managers Index rose to 53.1 in March, its highest level in 12 months, compared with 51.0 in February, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), which issues the data with the National Bureau of Statistics, said in a statement Sunday.
The March PMI was also considerably above the median forecast of 50.5 from seven economists polled earlier. A PMI reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
"The rising trend in the PMI may continue in the coming months as we can see the March data has been pushed up by internal and external demand," said Tang Jianwei, an economist with Bank of Communications. He added that the market has been too pessimistic about China's economy.
The official PMI's new orders subindex rose sharply to 55.1 from 51.0 in February, while the new export orders subindex increased to 51.9 from 51.1.